Moscow: Nearly half of Russian students would like to leave Russia, according to a survey by the Levada Center independent pollster published on Thursday.
A total of 22 per cent of all respondents in the poll want to emigrate from Russia to other countries, not including the former Soviet states, while some 70 per cent said they plan to stay in Russia, the survey said. Last year, a similar survey by the pollster said the same number of people said they were thinking of leaving Russia, while some 9 per cent said they often thought of doing so.
The urge to leave is strongest among residents of Moscow and other large cities (27 per cent) and those who supported Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov (38 per cent) at the presidential polls and, perhaps oddly, supporters of Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of Russia`s nationalist LDPR party (30 per cent).
Some 49 per cent of respondents said they would like to go abroad for a better life.
Unemployed women (68 per cent) and students (67 per cent) are most attracted by conditions abroad, according to the survey.
Around 32 per cent said they were unhappy with Russia`s unstable economy, while 31 per cent of those polled said they wanted to secure a better future for their children.
The pollster said 18 per cent wanted to escape "Russia`s arbitrary rule", while another 10 per cent said they dislike the political situation in the country. Another 14 per cent said they were unhappy with business conditions in Russia.
Less than 1 per cent of respondents, however, said they have actually started filling the necessary documents to make their emigration dream come true, and only 1 per cent said they had firmly decided to leave Russia.
Some 73 per cent of those polled said they have never thought of taking any real steps to emigrate. Nearly 17 per cent said they occasionally think of leaving the country, the survey said.